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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

For Honour and Glory

Gn Jianlun Gabriel's answer to Singapore: What is it like to go through National Service in Singapore? - Quora

"All that talk - 'you get what you give' or it's 'all about your attitude' or anything along the lines of achieving a sense of fulfilment depending on your perspective - Bullshit.

Let me tell you how I know that - I am one of those guys. I went into the army raring to go. I was excited I got drafted into the Commandos. At the interview when they asked me if I wanted to be a Commando I said 'maybe' - I later found out the question was a test of how vigorously you could say no.

I enjoyed the pain. What didn't kill me made me stronger. I motivated myself to achieve everything that I could. I ran the fastest I've ever ran. I walked the furthest I've ever walked. I carried the heaviest load I've ever carried. I pushed my limits. I tore ligaments and muscles in ways that will never fully recover but would not handicap me.

I considered signing on to the army full time. I fired all kinds of cool weapons. Blew up explosives for fun. Jumped out of planes and helicopters. Repelled down cliffs. Learned unarmed combat. Marched as the guard of honour at national day parade. Relished the jungle warfare of various countries.

I busked in the honour and glory singalong pride the Commandos sold. I made the great friends you make from common suffering. I despised the people who went in and figured ways to slack off.

I'd say I made the most of it. I'd say I gave it my all. I'd say I had a pretty damned positive attitude.

It was the most miserable time of my life. Ever. Good times notwithstanding. I'd take it all back if I could. The subjugation, the mental torment, the sub-human treatment, the separation from loved ones, the taunting for wanting human wants, the shame for being too weak, the ridiculous incompetence and sadism of people with absolute power over you, the injustice you suffer, the complete lack of dignity or semblance of control of your life.

It sucked.

Well, surviving it helps you learn valuable life lessons?

Well, so does cancer."
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